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Review - Raavan Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish Tripathi





Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta the third book of Ramchandra series was released on 1 July.

Watch the trailer of the book here.

This book was more interesting. The Secret of Nagas (Book 2 of Shiva Trilogy) was the best work of Amish. This book is just as good. There will be SPOILERS ahead.

        One of the reason for that being since Ravana was 56 years old at the end of the book he had a long journey right from having nothing but his uncle Mareech in his childhood to support him, a mother and months old brother to protect to be the king of Lanka in the end. He acquired all of it by himself. Though sometimes by bad means. Also, I really liked how gradually the story proceeds. Changes in Ravan both physically and mentally as he grows older. His love for the music and painting, knowledge of Vedas, philosophy, trading all these characteristics makes him an interesting character. And of course, he was a great warrior.

Scion of Ikshvaku was not that great a book. Sita- Warrior of Mithila was an improvement. I think the characters were less in both these books. And the focus was more on Ram and Sita in both of them. Being a multilinear narrative, there were lots of similarities in the first and the second book. And the story was short. There were some clues left in them, which now connects to Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta as and when the timeline matches. Then, there are more loyal people around Raavan all the time, willing to do anything for their Iraiva. Mareech, Akampana, Samichi, Khar and his loving brother Kumbhakarna.

Coming to Kumbhakarna I really loved Amish's portrayal of him. He is very different from his older brother. He thinks more before taking actions. And rightly so. Although he helped Raavan in many of his dirty works. There were times when he tried to stop him and sometimes succeeded because of Raavan's love for him.

Another thing to notice among all three books is that Vishwamitra, the chief of Malayaputra tribe is most frequently appearing character in these books. First, he trained  Ram and Lakshman. Took them to Mithila for the Swayamvar. Then in the second book, he chose Sita as Vishnu, teach her many things and travelled with her to the secret places. And he comes again in the third book. Since Raavan and Kumbhakarna were both Nagas, they needed medicines and Vishwamitra was the one who supplied it to them in exchange for heavy pay.


  M'Bakur and Kumbhakarna (page 269)

When Kumbhakarna visited the Ethiopian Kingdom of Damat to fix trade quotas and Customs Duties, he wandered around the capital of Damat and was surprised to find a temple dedicated to Lord Rudra and the outer walls decorated with sculpted figures of rishis, kings in Indian style. But they had African faces. While he was in the temple, he was greeted by M'Bakur who called himself a friend of Hanuman. Hanuman is a member of Vayuputra tribe.

I remember, when 'Black Panther' came out there was an article by Amish on Washington Post (link - What India can learn from ‘Black Panther’), where he mentions African tribes worshipping Hanuman.  M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe, says “Glory to Hanuman”.  Amish hasn't described much of Lord Hanuman in his books yet, sparing minor details like he was a brother to Sita and Guru Vashishta sent him to help Ram and Sita in the forest. Kumbhakarna mentioned that he saved his life once. We will definitely find more about him in the last two books. 

Raavan's Poem (page 91)

The Ballad of the Sun and the Earth was the poem written by Raavan that he read to Kumbhakarna. It was a really nice poem. I don't know where did Amish find it or whether it's fictional. There was no mention of it anywhere in the traditional texts. But it was lovely.


The rivalry of Vashista and Vishwamitra 

The enmity of Vashista and Vishwamitra is not something never heard of. In original Ramayan, it's mentioned that Vishwamitra was a king once named Kaushik. He visited Vashist's ashram and Guru Vashist fed his army with the help of his cow Kamdhenu. When King Kaushik got to know about the cow he asked Guru Vashista to give Kamdhenu to him for his kingdom. But Vashista refused and King Kaushik tried to take it by force and Guru Vashista defeated him with his powers that he obtained as a result of penance. King Kaushik then left everything, became a Maharishi by doing
years of penance, to defeat Vashista.

But Amish's version of their rivalry is different. Since book 1, we got to know that they were best friends once in the ashram. Vashista's Gurukul name was Divodas and Vishwamitra was known as Kaushik. In the end Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta, we get some more details like it involved a woman they both loved and she was dead because of something they both did. And they keep blaming each other for this. This triggered enmity between these two close friends. It also involves King Trishanku, whose body (according to Akampana) was never found and the main ship that Raavan owns was once owned by King Trishanku. But as Amish said, it's a story for another book. We will find more about it in the fourth book. 

 To read more from Amish, buy his books from the links below.

Shiva Trilogy Books 

Immortals of Meluha - https://amzn.to/2YSyVTK

The Secret of Nagas - https://amzn.to/2VafPrl

The Oath of the Vauputras - https://amzn.to/3fS999l

Ram Chandra Series Books

Scion of Ikshvaku - https://amzn.to/2YZkihx

Sita - Warrior of Mithila - https://amzn.to/3eDqMtn

Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta - https://amzn.to/3dmHWKh

Indic Chronicles

Legend of Suheldev: The King who saved India - https://amzn.to/3elr6wn


Similar books by other authors

Vikramaditya Veergatha by Shatrujeet Nath - https://amzn.to/2YXgNIF

Aryavarta Chronicles by Krishna Udayshankar - https://amzn.to/2VbG9S1

Asura: Tale of Vanquished: The story of Ravan and his people - https://amzn.to/2YZlqSj

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